Only about 5 WEEKS until Christmas!
Which means, about 6 weeks until the New Year.
Are you starting to think about your New Year Resolutions?
And you MEAN it this year! You are driven to reach the goals you lay out for yourself.
Most people forget about their resolutions once the deep cold of February hits and the luster of that shinny new goal durning a magical time of the year has faded into the background.
This year can be different!
This year can be your year!
There are 71 different places to “start” throughout the year. There are 12 firsts of the months, 52 Monday’s, and 7 major holidays that people relate to starting their goals AFTER. January 1, or after the New Year, is the most popular and common time to start trying to reach a goal.
A little secret, you can start now! You do not have to wait for January 1st. Some of you may be able to reach a goal before that, but you have to do something about it now. Friday is just as good as Monday – even better actually. You will have three more days to complete your goal if you start on a Friday as compare to a Monday.
Start by dedicating a note book (or binder) specifically for your goals. Write your goal on the cover of your note book – largely! Fill the entire cover. If you are using a binder, write on a piece of paper and put it in the front cover.
1. On the first page, write your goal down again on the top line.
Describe your ‘WHY.’ The deep, personal reason why you created this goal, why you want to accomplish this goal, why it is important to you right now. Be real, be specific, you will be coming back to this later.
2. Then, break that goal down into steps.
tiny chunks of what you need to do that leads you to being successful at achieving your goal. This will be your road map.
You don’t get from point A to point B just because you want it. You have to plan a course of action, and follow that road until you get there. Sometimes there will be some construction and traffic jams but if you are patient enough, and take the correct detours when necessary, you will get there.
3. For each step, write down a time frame.
Make sure it will fit into your schedule. If you don’t have 8 hours a day to learn to play piano now, you won’t when you start or any day after. Be reasonable. Give yourself enough time to properly get through each step without rushing, getting to your goal should be about quality. You want your goal to have a long lasting effect to better your life.
And I don’t care what the internet says, most people can not and should not lose 10 pounds in one week, or 10 inches in 14 days. Those claims are not healthy or sustainable most of the time.
If the steps to your goal are a difficultly of 8 when your skill level right now is a 3, you need to also factor in time to get better. The more complicated, the more time you should give yourself to complete.
4. Create a back up plan on the next piece of paper.
Things will go wrong, so plan for them.
5. Set a reward for yourself that has something to do with the goal you are working towards.
Not only will you be looking forward to completing your goal but also looking forward to what you get to do with it after.
6. Put it all together.
Once you have gotten through all your steps that you wrote down you should be in the home stretch of arriving at your goal. End Strong and cross the finish line.
Use the rest of the notebook as your journal for your journey. Take notes in it to help you study. Create your to do lists for each step to help you complete them. Everything pertaining to your goal could be written down throughout the rest of the notebook.
Now comes the hard part.
You wrote down your goal, the directions and time it will take to complete each, you have a back up plan, and a reward at the end. Now it is time to start.
The hard part for some goals is just starting. If you want to learn how to swim but you are afraid of water, that would be a scary start. Sometimes the journey to goals are exciting so it is easy to start.
The HARDER part for ALL goals, and this is where the drop off begins, is staying consistent and following through.
The excitement from the beginning wears off and maybe life gets in the way.
This is where your notebook comes in handy. Look at the cover, where you wrote your goal REAL big everyday, and repeat it in your head, even say it out loud.
When your motivation wanes, go back to your WHY.
Read and re-read your reason for starting. Because you wrote it when your passion was at its highest you should be able to feel that again if you were real and specific enough. Remember that passion, that drive as to why you started in the first place.
Set a reminder or timer to your phone to encourage you to work on your goal each day.
Use your support system. Lean on your family and friends to help you get to where you want to go. Let them help you through the difficult times.
Visualize yourself at your goal. How do you feel? Where are you at? Feel it from your head to your toes what it would be like to cross your finish line.
Keep in mind your reward at the end! The special thing you planned on doing once you completed your goal.
Say my goal is to learn to speak French. This is what my notebook would look like.
1. To be able to read and hold a conversation in French.
WHY: To be an example to my kid and help him become bilingual. To be able to travel abroad without the fear of not being able to understand others.
2. Steps to get there:
A) Buy or borrow a Rosetta Stone French program and a French/English dictionary. (2 Days)
B) Follow along with the program and work on it at least 10 minutes a day. Preferably in the morning when I am drinking a cup of coffee. (Until the Rosetta Stone program is complete.)
C) Use words, sentences, and phrases in daily life when talking to family and friends. It is a good way to practice because if I can explain it to them, then I know the material. (As soon as I can)
D) Buy or Borrow books written in French and use the dictionary to help me read through them. (When I am half way or far enough into the Rosetta Stone program that I can start putting sentences together.)
3. (Time frame in Italics)
4. Back Up Plan: You can’t control all the factors, but can have a plan for the ones that are in your control.
A) Can’t buy in store – buy online, and vise versa.
B) Morning too busy – practice on lunch break or after dinner. Could also add extra minutes each day I have available to make up for lost time.
5. My Reward:
Once the program is complete and I can use French in conversation with friends and family, test my new skill by planning a family vacation to France!! (Or maybe just Quebec)
6. Cross the Finish line:
Finish the program and the books I chose to read in french. Then use my new skill at will!
Start your journey now. You do not have to wait for January 1.
Is there a fire in your belly for something that you want. Go for it! One step at a time. Write it down. Look at your notebook and do something towards your goal everyday. Every minute will add up. Be intentional with your actions. When you are working toward your goal, really focus so each minute will be a quality minute of your time. Obstacles do get in the way but do not let them derail you. Keep going, use your back up plan, and your support system. Stay consistent and follow through. Remember why you started and finish strong.
Because this year is your year! You Got This!